Reflections on the cancelled Comrades Marathon 2020

Comrades Marathon runners passing halfway in Drummond. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Entering, sufficiently preparing, and getting ready for the comrade’s marathon represent a unique challenge and it demands an unswerving commitment to the Top Runners. This week, it was going to be a crucial week for the runners and for the city of Durban. 

This made me to recall my first comrades experience. It was in 2008 when comrades I was introduced to this race.  That race was dubbed the UP RUN, it was from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. There are also personal adjustments to be made in your daily life to be able to prepare properly for this race.

In addition, the comrade’s week is normally an exciting but also a nervous week because you don’t comprehend what to expect on the race day. I can precisely recall the race that gave me many troubles, the 2013 comrades marathon. This was the race that I witness several Top Runners including myself not passing the halfway mark, Inchanga. We agreed as Top Runners that the weather was to blame.

Even though the above had happened, we continued to willingly enter the race the following year and be on the starting line up on the day. I am reminded that many things caused us to go back and enter the race. I can think of the friendships that we forged over the years, as an important contributor to my continued participation.

I know this year is disturbing too many Top Runners who were mentally and physically prepared to run this year’s race. The cancellation of this year’s race is not the runner’s fault. It is rather a matter beyond their control. The Covid-19 is to blame as it has contributed to the cancelling of this year’s race.

Noting the above, I recall my first time when I was unfit to enter the race, it was in 2018 and it was the most hurting experience. I can understand what this year has caused to this race and especially to the first-time runners and back to back medallist. In addition, the successful Durban trip for the comrade’s marathon is repeatedly something that is special, not only to me but to all the Top Runners.

Don’t despair, next year is going to be indeed better. Let us keep our memories alive. I am confident 2021, is going to allow us to run again.

The stage is carefully set for 2021 for all the top runners.